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Breaking Down in Virginia – Top Five Safety Tips

As your lawyer, I do everything in my power to get you results.- Jim Hurley

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Breaking Down in Virginia – Top Five Safety Tips

Breaking down on the highways of Virginia or North Carolina is not just stressful; it’s dangerous.

Earlier this year, there was a terrible accident on I-264 in Virginia Beach in which a pickup truck hit a broken down car. Tragically, this wreck led to the deaths of two children.

In this video, I talk about wrecks that occur after breakdowns. Sadly, this is a common scenario. When you are traveling on the interstate or elsewhere, you should always look out for broken-down vehicles.

However, if you break down, you should never assume other drivers will have your safety at the forefront of their minds. Here are some basic precautions you should take in the event of a breakdown.

1 Get Your Car Off the Road

If your car fails on you, try to coast along the shoulder for some distance so as you are away from curves. Poor visibility is a major cause of wrecks.

2 Don’t Cross Busy Roads

If your car dies on the road, don’t get out of it unless the road is clear. It can be unnerving to sit in a broken car but rushing out of it on foot across a fast-moving highway is a deadly course of action.

3 Make a Call

Call the emergency services as soon as possible if you are in a dangerous location. Then call a breakdown service like AAA or through your insurance company. It makes sense to get breakdown cover.

4 Use Alerts and Signals

Turn on your emergency flashers. If it is safe to get out of your car, place a hazard triangle or flare about 50 feet behind your car to give other drivers more warning about the breakdown.

5 Find a Level and Safe Place to Make Repair

If you need to change a flat tire, you need flat ground. Do not change a flat tire on the side of the shoulder facing a busy highway. Aim to change the tire away from traffic. Ideally, get your car off the road and into a parking lot. Call for assistance if you are unable to change the tire.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we have helped people who have been injured when hit after a breakdown. All cases are different, and no former result can be an indicator of a future one. We negotiated a $3.5 million settlement for family members in a wrongful death case after a truck hit a stricken car on I-64 in Norfolk.

If you have been involved in a wreck due to the fault of another driver, call us at (757) 455-0077.

Jim Hurley


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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